The federal government’s top health agencies told members of a
US House subcommittee that they will recommend vaccination only for high-risk
US residents when the upcoming influenza season begins. Access will be broadened
to the general public only after the agencies are certain that high-risk residents
are ensured the vaccine, officials told the Subcommittee on Oversight and
Investigations on May 4.
The subcommittee members said they wanted to avoid the situation that
arose during the 2004-2005 flu season when the manufacturer (Chiron Corp,
Emeryville, Calif) of roughly half the vaccination supply for the United States
was forced to stop production due to contamination at its England plant. Panic
among consumers regarding the abrupt cut in supply led to temporary shortages
of the vaccine followed by a surplus as concerns subsided and a relatively
moderate flu season unfolded.
Mitka M. Preparing for Flu Season. JAMA. 2005;293(22):2709. doi:10.1001/jama.293.22.2709-a